Throughout my life in ministry I have heard that the local church is a hospital for sinners. The local church is where sinners go for healing. The local church receives the sick and makes them well. Most church leaders I know speak of the church as a safe place, a place of respite, a place where persons come to experience the healing power of God's grace. Bring your suffering to the hospital church and receive your cure. Return to the hospital, at least weekly and get the continued therapy you need in order to keep up your strength and face our disease riddled world. The church is a hospital for sinners where we bubble wrap sinners in the healing balm of Gilead. Not only is this false but it is destructive. We must not speak of the church as a hospital for sinners. We must now understand that the local church is a medical school that trains us to be healers. Once trained, we are sent out to be healers that transform the world. After modeling the art of healing with his disciples, Jesus sends his followers out, two by two to transform the world through healing practices. We do not need the church to be a hospital for sinners anymore, we need the church to be a medical school where we are trained in the art of healing and a medical supply house where we can receive necessary instruments that allow us to heal others.
Henri J M Nouwen wrote about the wounded healer. Remember that if your wounds are attended to in church, it is for the purpose of leaving the warm confines of that local church, going out into the cold cruel world, and healing others. Once you have received grace, thank God for the healing, then fulfill the desire of Jesus and heal others. When Jesus was transfigured on the mountaintop his disciples wanted to build a church on that spot and hang out. Jesus said "transfiguration are not for building church hospitals but medical schools in my name. no, you cannot hang out here, this experience is a classroom that teaches you how to leave this place, go out and heal others."(paraphrase from the original passage?) Jesus says he did not come for the whole and healthy, Jesus came for the sick, the least, last, and lost.
Now that you have gone to church and received some measure of spiritual, emotional,and physical health, go heal others. Treat your weekly worship experience as continuing education for healing from your favorite medical school.